The calm before the storm. That statement was more real today for Thor and his friends than it had ever been in both a metaphorical and literal way.
Thor left the Ashikage grounds after he had seen Ursa off to the fortress recovery team. It had been a somber affair and one that Thor wished to infinity and beyond had never occurred.
" Where were you ? " he asked himself as he thought about what matter of helplessness would encourage her to try dark energy " Where were you when she needed help, why didn't you notice, you lunk ".
He had needed to clear his head, to stop himself from screaming like a madman while surrounded by thousands of people.
His thinking spot was at the edge of a cliff, far from the city and overlooking a wide forest area that led to city, the iron fortress and the infinite stretch of water behind it all.
His eyes weren't looking down to the breathtaking sight of thousands of meter wide blanket of green vegetation, or the concrete forest that was the city or the mighty towering monolithic structure that was the iron fortress or even the wide great blue advance of the ocean far below, but rather to the grey skies that rumbled from the storm that was beginning to bubble up like boiling water.
He could feel the ever increasing cold winds beating against his flesh and sending a shiver down his spine as the number of ions kept on buildings up in the atmosphere readying to be formed and dance along the sky as beautiful streaks of lightning.
" The magic in this storm is strong " he said as he sensed the familiar electronic spark of dense magical energy charging up in the gathering nimbus clouds.
The storms in Avalon were different than the storms on earth. The magical energy within them was so dense that only the best people with weather magic could hope to manipulate them. Thor had once tried on a bet by Ursa and he had contented against a storm for an entire hour, trying to end it and he had but his strength had left him afterwards and he had been unable to even breath properly.
"I have never seen a storm like this once before..." He whispered but something sprung up in his mind "...I have, when i woke up".
He didn't remember when he truly awoke on earth, but he knew that the first thing he saw, smelt, felt and heard was a raging storm the likes of which could only described as biblical from its raging intensity.
The second most prominent feature of the storm was that it was absolutely brimming with such magical energy that it teraformed the earth itself, leaving nothing but Thor, Mjølnir and a mound of glass for kilometres.
The main advantage of standing in total silence, alone with only the ever increasing howling of the wind to accompany you was that you could easily pick up when another was walking towards you with ease.
He had originally thought it to be Christian or Mulengu, come to properly talk about the Ursa situation. After she had originally been detained by the Anjin police, Chris had simply mentioned how she had become darkened and the team spoke no more through the night.
Thor hadn't even managed to sleep properly as his bed had become rougher than desert stone.
His thoughts weren't accurate though as surprisingly it was Meghanada who walking towards him with her flowing white hair were like arcs of lightning that danced around thanks to the strong winds.
She looked much like a goddess to him, almost like her very presence had turned the winds mad and called forth this storm. Her lower face was hidden behind a rather large scarf and it made her look far more beautiful.
Strapped behind her back was her bow and looking closer at it he could catch strands of magical code and he was impressed. It was a weapon truly worthy of a fighter like her.
"Meghanada" he said greeting her as she walked up to him and stopped to his left overlooking the great cliff and to the great expanse of land and ocean before them.
the way she said his name left him with a chill in his spine and a warmth in his cheeks. It was like a sweet mixture of honey and lemon for the right test.
" What?" She asked and Thor realized that she had noticed him looking at her deeply as the chill had run through him.
"Nonnn... Nothing... its just... just, its a nice scarf" he hoped that has saved him, because Meghanada's blank face couldn't give much of anything away.
"Do you really care so much about a scarf?" She sounded so sarcastic as she asked that Thor's legs froze, losing all strength and his stomach felt even lighter.
"No... No, no.... I ah, ah... what brings you here?" He asked in a serious panic though she didn't seem to mind and her eyes went up once more the sky, where the clouds gathered more tightly than a shield wall.
"The storm" she said pointing her right finger to the grey blanket of the sky that had began to darken the earth " There is a lot of magic in it, i can smell it from my room, it makes my skin crawl".
He could agree, the rumbling clouds sent shivers down his spine and he was sure that he could easily sense it, even if he had returned to the Ashikage grounds.
"Yes, we shall be dancing in the rain today, and we shall be at out our strongest" the strongest condensed presence of ones elemental magic, increased not just their physical attributes, but their attributes tied to said elemental magic.
"I know, the lightning surging through my veins has never been so strong before" she raised her right hand and arcs of lightning danced across it in a rhythmic dance of electric bolts so hot that they matched the intensity of the sun itself.
"Do you truly look forward to this?" He didn't want to fight, but what choice did he have now.
"No, but i am fighting for my family, and you can't choose your kin, you can only fight for them" she said as the lightning dispersed and a heavy tone came to her voice.
"Well, i am an exception to that, i got to choose my family" he said with a small smile hoping to change the mood from what it was.
"Your team?" She asked him and he felt a warmth as he thought about his friends of many years, though that warmth was soon snuffed out by a cruel winters grip from the memory of Ursa in her sell.
"Yes" he answered her, his voice more rough from what he held back within him as he thought about her.
"What happened to your birth family?" she asked with more subdued voice than normal.
" She must not wish to offend me, but her curiosity is far too great " it warmed his heart to see her so kind and he felt no particular disrespect from her question.
"Don't know" he shrugged as he began to answer her. She looked to him with surprised expression at his general lack of offense from her question.
" I don't remember them at all. Not a memory of a smell, a sound, a name or even a location to find any, if they do truly exist, i don't remember them. All i remember is waking up in that cave to the storm with Mjølnir in my hand. I don't remember much but i know that i walked for days... or was it months, i can't really remember well enough, but i know that i walked until i ended up in the south " as he spoke, he thought about his memories of his awakening which were tangled messes and left him lost in his own thought's.
" You are a strange one Thor Stormcloud " she said and his throat tightened in shock and all the saliva within his mouth and throat were lost.
"Strange?... What does she mean strange?... D... Does she think that i am some kind of weirdo or something. Am i putting her off or something" he was sweating even if the temperature lowering faster than a boulder down a hill.
"Is that a good kind or bad kind of strange?" He asked her and she gave him a questioning looking, as if she was trying to arrange some kind of puzzle.
"Does it matter?" Her answer told him that perhaps it was not best for him to push his luck in that area of questioning.
"Maybe not" he said with a nervous chuckle as he scratched the back of his neck.
"I wish you the best of luck Thor Stormcloud" she said while giving him a pat upon his back, sending sparks through his back that tickled him " But don't think that i will hold back against you. When we meet in the field of battle, i shall show my strength, upon my honor as an Indrajit i will not fail".
Thor had never seen her with this much fire within her. Even when she in battle, she was calm before a storm. But she hadn't seen Thor's yet, he knew that she was strong, it was one if the thing's that attracted him to her. He knew that them meeting in a face to face encounter in this battle was near inevitable, but he put enough stock in his own ability to emerge victories.
"I would expect no less from you Meghanada. You are a warrior, great in arms and in turn i will show my full power without restraint. My hummer, Mjølnir hunger's for a good battle" he raised the mighty hummer overhead to prove his point and heaven's seemed to agree with him as lighting flashed brighter and the drums of thunder beat deeper.
She smiled and drew her bow from her back " So does my bow Deva. I will look for you upon the battlefield Thor, i will not disappoint".
"Neither will i, my lady" he answered her.
She turned and left him upon his cliff, under the blanket of total grey and falling rains that forced him back to the Ashikage grounds.
The rains poured heavy and the roof of the Ashikage house beat as if a thousands horses were riding across in a mad charge. To many others this sound would distracting or irritating, but Thor found it as melodic as a harpist.
The servants and family members of the household still took to him as if he was some kind of oddity. They appeared respectful enough in his presence of course, he was their champion after all, but when he was no more than a few meter's away from them, the whispering began and the topic upon their lips was consistent.
Through every hushed whisper the name " Ursa" or "that girl" could be found without fail. Thor moved faster through the halls of the splendid mansion than he had any need to.
He was halfway to the teams sleeping area when he saw Mulengu speed walking towards it as well with a deeply drawn scowl upon his face. Had Thor not known his friend, he would have feared him ready to kill a person.
He stopped and stood in Mulengu's way, the red Knight seemed to finally realize that Thor was before him and he halted, though his scowl hadn't left his face.
"What crawled into your underwears and died?" He asked Mulengu who grinded his teeth in barely concealed anger.
"Ursa damn grandmother... " he said seething with enough rage that bolt's of chaos energy sparked across his body.
"The twin one" Mulengu answered as he furiously punched the wall to his left, leaving a fist sized dent.
Finding out that Ursa's grandmother had a twin was surprising, though after meeting the old cruel woman, Thor had wished that he never knew of her existence.
"What did she say?" He knew it would be something cruel and capable of getting under his skin.
Mulengu rubbed the bridge of his nose and sighed "...It doesn't matter, we should go meet Chris and plan for what is to come".
Thor knew what was to come and he was conflicted about it. Any sensible person would never enjoy the odds that were stacked against them, but as a natural warrior at heart, he relished the opportunity to test his prowess against such situation's.
If anyone had suffered much from this feeling, it was Chris. They found him in the room with Benkei and Tomoe as he glared at a pink paper in his hands that he crushed in anger and threw at the wall. Thor managed to reach out to the left and grabbed it.
He unfolded the paper and the words upon it made one part of his heart grow dread like a plant, while his warrior half salivated at the thought of the challenge that he now knew was to come.
...To all fighter's, you are informed that your next challenge shall be a game of capture the flag. You will be attributed strong points upon which a flag shall be set. Each strong point shall be eight hundred meters away from each other. You are to leave two combats to protect your flags while the rest are to aim to capture enemy flags....
"I can see why this would be a problem" Thor said as he passed the paper onto Mulengu to read.
"A problem?" Chris threw him a look that wasn't the slightest bit amused " We are out numbered with Ursa arrested and Pyrrha too injured to fight. Benkei and Tomoe on the other hand can fight but they still aren't at a hundred percent fighting capacity ".
" We are not infant's incapable of fighting Ddraig. We refuse to put in the sidelines by you of all people " Tomoe had been seated upon a seat and she arose as if that would prove her physical fitness.
Chris answered with a scoff and Thor was taken aback, from the corner of his eye he could see Mulengu give the same reaction from Chris's behavior.
"Spare me your bravado Tomoe. Both you and Benkei took some very serious injuries. There is no way that i am putting this chance at risk simply because you can't handle your feelings being hurt" there was a venom to his voice that had never been there before.
" He is right, but does he have to be cruel and antagonistic about it " Thor thought as he looked at his usually kind and understand friend.
Benkei was growling and the giant lumbered towards Chris with fists so clinched together that Thor could swear that he saw bruising upon the palm from his finger's pressing upon them.
"We are not being left behind little Prince" Benkei might have toward over Chris, but should things go out if control Thor knew who would win.
And from the look of utter contempt on Chris's face, the prince looked almost eager for things to explode. And his following words didn't betray what emotions his face showed.
"Oh, please concussion boy. I saw the doctors report, you will be out and down the moment someone so much as grazes you're head" Chris sneered out and Benkei's scowl became positively murderous.
"No one will be able to strike my head princeling" Benkei boasted as his large meaty hand came to Chris's chest slightly pushing back the prince.
Thor was ready to jump in and stop the inevitable brawl but thankfully Chris didn't answer with physical violence, but rather with words that struck just as bad as any blow.
"Oh, why is that, because you are such a great warrior Benkei. No offense but i have seen you fight fine enough and i have been more impressed with trainees... After all, everyone who can fight with any sort of good skill are more healthy than you here" he smirked with an air of arrogance at Benkei who paused for a few minutes before answering it with a smirk of his own.
"So you are saying that your elf buddy is total animal waste because as far as i see, she is still in a hospital bed lacking the spine to..." Benkei's answer was cut off as Chris grabbed him by the scuff of his shirt and push Benkei a few meter's back into a wall that caved in from the collision.
Benkei looked stunned and shocked while Chris looked positively murderous and he held the much larger Benkei against the wall.
"Take care how you speak Benkei, least it cost you something valuable" his tone of voice was low and cold.
Cold mist flew from Chris's body and covered all it touched in thin layer of both ice and snow. Thor knew that now was his time and both he had Mulengu grabbed Chris to tear him off Benkei.
It was a tough struggle and Chris tried to fight them both off as he cursed at them, but the two were more than enough to over power the prince and draw him out of the room as Tomoe went to take care of Benkei, who appeared shell shocked after what happened.
They managed to drag Chris into the Ashikage garden where a great oak tree stood in the center at twenty meters in height, it's branches seemed to have stretched all over the entire garden with thick leaves and branches that protected them from the cold rain.
Chris finally managed to pull himself from their grips as he angrily shouted " Get your damn hands off of me!".
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Mulengu demanded from Chris how huffed like a pouting child.
" He shouldn't have spoken about Pyrrha like that! " the enraged prince shot back.
"You are right, he had no right to insult her, but you went out of line as well Chris. You insulted him first and kept antagonizing him and Tomoe with no reasonable cause. You also decided to get physical with him, you know that Benkei still has wounds from his bout with Ursa, the last thing we need is him being unable to properly function in battle" Thor didn't want to dress down his friend but it had to be done.
Chris didn't appreciate it as well because the glare he gave Thor could kill a man " I did and said what needed to be done and said. You guys wanna go into the fight blind because you want to protect the Ashikage's little feelings then fine. Just know that i am simply going to protect the falcons, because it seems to be that i am the only one doing that! ".
He turned and walked away from them with his anger radiating off of him as a cold aura that left ice upon everything he touched and passed.
" Chris, get back here!" Mulengu shouted at their team leader who didn't bother looking back as he answered with.
Thor felt a strange cold feeling claps his heart as he watched Chris walk away.
The Summer lands golden wine was truly the sweetest alcohol that Kazuto had tasted. The sixth bottle that he had this morning came down upon the table.
Looking at the mirror he could see just how degraded his appearance was. The once sharp and clean cut image that was a part of his identity for years was replaced with a dirty, scruffy man.
The door to his office opened and his mother walked in. She wrinkled her nose as she entered the room, no doubt smelling the saturated scent of alcohol.
" Kazuto " she said softly with a disapproving face that erupted a sea of shame within him.
"Mother" he answered unable to face as she walked to open the window allowing fresh air to fill the room.
"I didn't see you when Ursa was being seen off" she said, further crushing him.
"I couldn't... i couldn't face my failure mother".
" failure? " she asked confused.
"When he died i swore that i would rebuild this family, that i would save it. But look at me now" reaching into his tables compartment he pulled out his fathers picture, with his boiling anger he threw the picture against a wall shuttering it " Even in death his specter haunt's me".
His mother could only watch as Kazuto vented out curses against his father.
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I am a 21 year old law school student at the National Institute of Public Administration. My dream is to one day publish my story phantom ddriag and hopefully get a show made from it.
I also have a youtube account that hundels web fiction content, here is the link https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCFz-mHywXBJnLF8uyofcLAw/videos